The Orange Township (IN) Fire Department wanted to replace an old Ford chassis top-mount pumper with a new rig, but needed a larger pump and plenty of compartment space because it wanted to make the new unit serve as a rescue-pumper. After talking with Spencer Manufacturing at FDIC International, the apparatus committee received bids from four apparatus manufacturers, and chose Spencer to build its new pumper.
Grant Spencer, president of Spencer Manufacturing, says Orange Township “wanted a Waterous 1,500-gpm top-mount pump, at least 1,000-gallons of water, a custom cab with 20-inch raised roof, good scene lighting, a light tower, and the maximum amount of storage we could get on the vehicle. The finished rescue-pumper has all full-height and full-depth compartments.”
Stan Loos, chief of Orange Township Fire Department, says his department has 33 volunteer firefighters operating out of one station, providing fire, rescue, and first response EMS to a 26-square-mile fire district. “It’s a very rural fire district, with a lot of corn, soybean, and dairy farms in it and no water system but a lot of lakes in the area,” Loos points out, “so we use tankers and portable water tanks. We also wanted another top-mount pumper because we often operate on narrow rural roads and don’t want our pump operator standing in a ditch like he would with a side-mount pumper. We also went with roll-up doors because they wouldn’t interfere with using the roadway as swinging-doors would.”
Spencer says the new pumper-tanker is powered by a Cummins 450-horsepower ISL9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. Overall length on the rig is 34 feet 6 inches, overall height is 12 feet 6 inches, the cab is 100 inches wide, and the wheelbase is 233 inches.
Loos notes that the cab has seating for six firefighters, and the rig carries two 1¾-inch cross lays of 200-feet each, 100-feet of 1¾-inch hose in a compartment in the extended front bumper, a 2½-inch preconnect off the rear of the vehicle, 700 feet of five-inch LDH (large diameter hose), 2½-inch dead lay in the hosebed, a Task Force Tips 1,250-gpm remote control monitor, and a booster reel with 150 feet of one-inch hose inside the pump house.
Spencer says that the vehicle also has a 1,300-gallon UPF water tank, an FRC pressure governor, master intake valves, a Trident dual air primer, IC tank level gauges, and a front suction swivel.
Lancier Rescue Systems hydraulic rescue tools (cutter, spreader, and rams), a hydraulic power plant, and hydraulic hose reel are contained in the vehicle’s rear compartment. “The driver’s side of the rescue-pumper is set up for fire suppression,” Loos points out, “and the officer’s side is set up for auto extrication.”
The rescue-pumper also has a Harrison 10-kW hydraulic generator, a Command Light Shadow light tower, Whelen LED warning lights, FRC LED scene lights, ROM roll-up doors, a Spencer Quick Ladder™ at the rear, and a D&S hosebed cover.
The other apparatus in Orange Township’s fleet are a Ford chassis pumper with a 1,250-gpm pump and 1,000-gallon water tank, a Seagrave pumper-tanker with a 1,500-gpm pump and 3,000-gallon water tank, a semi-trailer with a 5,300-gallon stainless steel tank, a Ford tanker with a 2,300-gallon water tank, a brush truck, and a small hovercraft used for water and ice rescue.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.